Forgiveness is a tricky subject for abuse and bullying victims. If we forgive our abuser, it feels alot like absolving them of their guilt. How can they walk away without consequences when they hurt us so much?
Years later, we are still holding onto the blame they deserve. But what is it doing to them? Who is suffering? Certainly not the abuser or the bully. Only we are feeling the pain.
So how do we get rid of the pain? Through forgiveness.
The reason why this is so difficult is the concept of absolution. Were we to forgive, it feels like we are saying the perpetrator is now free from guilt and blame.
Here is the truth about forgiveness: it has nothing to do with the perpetrator! Whether or not we forgive will not bind or release the person who harmed us from their guilt. They have to deal with their own conscience. It is their responsibility, not ours.
What we are responsible for is what the MEMORY of that act is doing to us in the PRESENT! The torment exists now only in our minds, in our reliving the event, in our revisiting the feelings it evoked.
By holding onto the perpetrator’s guilt, we are not punishing them, but ourselves. Whatever punishment we wish for the other, we are feeling in our gut.
So how do we forgive the unforgiveable? It begins with an understanding of forgiveness. Forgiveness does not wipe out the act. Nor does it erase guilt. What it does is release us from the role of judge and jury. We no longer wish for a sentence on the perpetrator. We release him/her from OUR DESIRE FOR JUSTICE. When we do this, we have done it for ourselves. It was not an act of altruism to the perpetrator, but an act of self love.